\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \
slicker; slickest

Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having a smooth surface : slippery slick wet leaves
b : having surface plausibility or appeal : glossy slick advertising
c : based on stereotype : trite slick stories soon forgotten
2a : characterized by subtlety or nimble wit : clever especially : wily a slick swindler
b : deft, skillful a slick ballplayer
3 : extremely good : first-rate
4 archaic : sleek sense 1


slicked; slicking; slicks

Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to make sleek or smooth

intransitive verb

: spruce usually used with up



Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : something that is smooth or slippery especially : a smooth patch of water covered with a film of oil
b : a film of oil
2 : an automobile tire made without a tread for maximum traction (as in drag racing)
3 : an implement for producing a smooth or slick surface
4 : a shrewd untrustworthy person
5 : a popular magazine printed on coated stock and intended to appeal to sophisticated readers
6 slang : a military helicopter without armaments that is used to transport troops or light cargo



Definition of slick (Entry 4 of 4)

dated, informal
: in a smooth or clever manner "I must say they did it slick enough. They were old hands at the business."— Jack London

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Other Words from slick


slickly adverb
slickness noun

Synonyms for slick

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for slick


sleek, slick, glossy mean having a smooth bright surface or appearance. sleek suggests a smoothness or brightness resulting from attentive grooming or physical conditioning. a sleek racehorse slick suggests extreme smoothness that results in a slippery surface. slipped and fell on the slick floor glossy suggests a highly reflective surface. photographs having a glossy finish

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods. a sly corporate raider cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing. the cunning fox avoided the trap crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method. a crafty lefthander wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering. the wily fugitive escaped the posse tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering. a tricky political operative foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing. a foxy publicity man planting stories artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness. elicited the information by artful questioning slick emphasizes smoothness and guile. slick operators selling time-sharing

Examples of slick in a Sentence

Adjective Be careful as you drive home—the roads are slick. big corporations and their slick lawyers The new kid had some slick moves on the basketball court. The students did a slick job of promoting the concert. The video game has slick graphics. Verb The rain slicked the roads. slicking the bottom of their skis with wax
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective City officials said the mural's paint obscures traffic lines and has been slick when wet. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'We'll paint it again with better paint': City removes 'Defund the Police' mural on Water Street," 11 July 2020 But Elyse is a little too slick (or maybe a little too timid) for that. Jodi Walker,, "The Real Housewives of New York City," 10 July 2020 The Italianate structure is adjacent to the section of Main Street where local high school juniors and seniors gather each October to smash pumpkins and sled down the slick entrails of the gourds. cleveland, "Chagrin Falls is a day trip that attaches to your heart," 10 July 2020 And the secret organisation has sent three mysterious assassins after the slick-mouthed preteen to prevent him and his siblings from messing with the timeline once again. Ineye Komonibo,, "Your Favorite Super Siblings Are Taking On The Apocalypse — Again," 10 July 2020 No matter how slick a game's commentary or meditative its playing experience is, the thing has to be fun in order to stick it out. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Homebound with EarthBound," 5 July 2020 An added notch for overdrive would finish off the slick shift action perfectly. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1992 Lexus SC400 Rewrites the Sport Coupe Formula," 26 June 2020 Bitter partisan invective certainly exists, though it has been stripped of any real outrage and given a slick screwball sheen. cleveland, "Jon Stewart’s off-key political comedy, starring Steve Carell, is far from ‘Irresistible’," 25 June 2020 Several factors may be underpinning the surge in new retail traders: Buying and selling securities has never been easier, with slick smartphone brokerage apps just a download away. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "How the retail trading boom is shaking up the US stock market," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At another appearance at the festival, her rosy pink hair was slicked-back and accessorized with bobby pins. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Kristen Stewart's Hair Is Pastel Pink Now and She Looks Stunning," 16 Sep. 2019 McDermott’s first scene has no dialogue, as Eddie — an aging rake with a pencil mustache and slicked-back silver hair — observes Jack from down the bar. Darren Franich,, "Hollywood review: Ryan Murphy's showbiz dramedy splits EW's critics," 29 Apr. 2020 Worn with slicked back hair and a signature red lip, the sweeping tulle didn’t overwhelm its petite wearer. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Christina Aguilera Has a Message for Couture Fashion Week," 3 July 2019 George was a presence, over 6 feet tall, with a massive gut, cold blue eyes, slicked-back graying hair, and a trademark Cuban shirt that tried to contain the gut. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "What Happens When Yankees Deer Hunt with Rebels?," 13 Mar. 2020 Dressed in a gray suit with his hair slicked back, Foote spent much of the night whistling loudly, applauding at odd moments and speaking loudly to his seat mates during honoree’s speeches. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sean Penn Reveals Feature Documentary About Haitian Relief Efforts by Filmmaker Don Hardy," 16 Jan. 2020 Using an immersion blender directly in the pot, puree the liquid and the remaining tender vegetables — this will give the gravy a sweet taste and enough body to slick over the brisket. Paul Stephen,, "Recipe: Wise Sons’ Passover Brisket," 8 Apr. 2020 Starting from the temples, Spence works the molding paste into the hair to slick it down — alternating between brushing it through with the spooley and flattening it with his fingers. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How to Lay and Wave Your Edges With a Spooley, According to a Pro Hairstylist," 3 Apr. 2020 Using an immersion blender directly in the pot, puree the jus and the remaining tender vegetables — this will give the gravy a sweet taste and enough body to slick over the brisket. Rachel Levin,, "Wise Sons’ brisket recipe for Passover," 2 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pizza meets music at this Surprise restaurant Pizza and music is the intersection of Copenhaver’s obsessions, and Reel Pizza Pies has a kind of retro-slick look to match the soundtrack. Dominic Armato, The Arizona Republic, "Pizza doesn't have to be fancy to be good. This new metro Phoenix restaurant proves it," 27 June 2020 During Wednesday’s meeting, some officials suggested burning the slick — but others noted this could in itself cause severe damage. NBC News, "Russia launches major clean-up operation after huge Arctic fuel spill," 4 June 2020 Post was with a group, and periodic rain on Saturday made the rocks extra slick, the Citizen-Times of Asheville reported. Ben Kesslen, NBC News, "Hiker dies after falling down 75-foot waterfall in North Carolina," 22 Oct. 2019 Venezuela’s state oil company categorically denied having anything to do with the slick, saying there were no reports of incidents at its facilities or from clients, nor evidence of leaks that could have led to damages in Brazil. Julia Leite / Bloomberg, Time, "Oil Is Killing Brazil’s Turtles. No One Knows Where It’s From," 13 Oct. 2019 Ninomiya reminds his audience of the precariousness of nature in the jolting appearance of a woman in slick, lacquered black detritus. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Evaluating the environment — and ourselves — at the Comme des Garçons and Noir by Kei Ninomiya shows," 29 Sep. 2019 With the rain coming down to make the grass surface slick, Gomez-Diaz found himself down 6-4, 4-2 when the match was postponed. Emmett Hall,, "Fort Lauderdale resident adds another national championship to tennis resume," 19 Sep. 2019 Artists who became starts in the golden 1990s of era of slick, mainstreaming R&B offered gratitude and condolences. Los Angeles Times, "Andre Harrell dies: Mariah Carey, John Legend, Kamala Harris mourn Uptown Records founder," 9 May 2020 Plastic particles outnumbered the larval fish seven to one in the slicks the researchers studied. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Major fish nurseries are awash in microplastics," 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of slick


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slick


Middle English slyke; akin to Old English *slician


Middle English sliken, from Old English *slician; akin to Old High German slīhhan to glide

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Time Traveler for slick

Time Traveler

The first known use of slick was in the 13th century

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Statistics for slick

Last Updated

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for slick


How to pronounce slick (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very smooth and slippery
: clever in usually a dishonest or deceptive way
: skillful and clever



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) smooth and slippery



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 3)

: a thin layer of liquid that makes a surface very slippery
: a smooth tire that is used in car racing


\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \
slicked; slicking

Kids Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make sleek or smooth He slicked his hair.



Kids Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having a smooth surface : slippery slick pavement
2 : tricky sense 2 a slick salesman
3 : having skill and cleverness She made some slick moves during the game.

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More from Merriam-Webster on slick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slick

Spanish Central: Translation of slick

Nglish: Translation of slick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slick for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about slick

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